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The Rugby most DEFINITELY ran XXX movies. I worked at the Granada a couple of miles up Church Avenue, run by the same owner from 1973 to about 1975 or 1976 (Max Schiering, or Schering). After the theater was twinned, it became a porn house, at least for a while. I spent a lot of time around Church and Utica Avenues and remember it well; there were several candy stores and newsstands my friends and I frequented weekly for the new comic books, and my grandmother (a former movie theater cashier) lived around the corner of Linden Avenue…plus the aforementioned pizza place next door!
I worked at the Grenada from around 1973-75 or so, right after graduating Tilden High School and continuing while I went to Brooklyn College, hired by the wonderful Max Schiering, who owned the theater. I was an usher, along with my friend Steve (I remember you, Orlando, Artie and the others!!). After hiring me, Mr. Schiering asked me about my last name, which was familiar to him. It turned out he remembered by grandfather, Alfred, a projectionist who died in 1930, and my grandmother, who had been a cashier (at, among others, the old Congress Theater on St Johns Place and the Loew’s Pitkin on Pitkin Ave.). Mr. S had been an usher when my grandfather was a projectionist; the grayhaired cashier, Irene, remembered my grandmother, who had trained her for the job when Irene was just a kid herself! I loved that job and that old theater. We used to roam around backstage and explore; I still ticket stubs somewhere from when their was a kiddie land amusement park in the parking lot next door…WISH I still had all the old movie posters we found down there. Also worked a couple of times at the Rugby, on Church Avenue, that Mr. S also owned (and/or operated; and he also owned/operated the Kingsway (?) on Kings Highway.
We lived at 276 Buffalo Avenue, right around the corner from the Congress, where I saw my first movie, ‘The Three Stooges in Orbit’ with my 10-year older uncle, who sat us in the Loge so he could smoke. My grandmother had been the ticket seller at the Congress in the 1930s and, if I’m not mistaken, my grandfather, an electrician who died in 1930, had been a projectionist there. In the early 1970s when I went to work as an usher in another great old Brooklyn movie house, the Granada at Church and Nostrand Avenues (up from the Bickfords), the owner, Max Schering, and the cashier, Irene, a grandmother-aged woman herself, remembered my grandparents, Max from when he had been an userher and Irene because my grandmother had trained her to be a cashier at the Congress in the 1930s! And just to complete the circle, I recently learned that my grandfather, who I knew had passed out and died one hot day in his car on his way to work, died outside the Grenada!
BTW, great picture, Albert! I remember it well!